Marian (Irwin) Guion
Page 2 8/20/44
And Marian the Faithful writes again, still from Pomona: “Yes, here we are again, still sitting in Pomona wondering what we are going to do next. Evidently there was too much publicity regarding the current move of the 142nd Bn. (Practically everyone in Pomona knew about it) or maybe they were unable to get a troop train, or maybe just because. Anyway, we haven’t gone yet although we are practically completely packed and have gotten our gas coupons. But I refuse to unpack our things again, so as long as my last box of soap flakes holds out we are all right. Lad’s suntans are receiving the best treatment of their lives — washed by hand and in Lux, no less, for we are skeptical about sending them to the cleaners or the laundry for fear that we will move out suddenly and we won’t have anything to wear. Such a life! But we don’t mind. The longer they keep us here the better we will like it. We don’t dare get too optimistic, but the war news seems to be getting so much better that a week or even three or four days means an awful lot in the way of new developments. Lad and I had a holiday yesterday (8/13). With another couple we spent the day at Lake Arrowhead, one of the most scenic spots in Southern California. The lake itself is at an elevation of 5,125 ft., and is situated in a lovely forest. We spent a couple of hours out on the lake in a sailboat and had a perfectly glorious time. All three of us were land lubbers from way back, Lad was the skipper and had to do most of the work. But he didn’t seem to mind and in spite of the fact we all came home with sunburns, it was well worth it.”
And last, the enclosed “report from a Normandy camp” from our own private War Correspondent, beggars description. It speaks for itself and I am sure you will be as interested in it as have all those here who have had the opportunity to read it.
Daniel Beck Guion
He also enclosed some samples of the new invasion French money we have heard so much about, as well as a sheet of “Vagrant Impressions of London: “Arriving at the outskirts — looking for signs of bombed out houses and finding very few — feeling much closer to the war, reminded by the pudgy barrage balloons, high sentinels facing steadfastly into the wind — “Jerry” only a few air minutes away. Marching to our quarters, heavy packs on our backs — marching along narrow streets, curious looks exchanged between newly arrived soldiers and passing Britishers — a milk-woman pushing her hand card laden with squat milk bottles, four shelves deep — an old lady shuffling along the sidewalk, saliva-stained cigarette drooping from ancient lips — big red two-deck buses, garish with advertisements, rumbling past on the wrong side of the street — neat hedges rising so high before the compact little front yards that only a glimpse of the tiled vestibule can be seen through the iron-grilled gate. Shops of modest demeanor, tobacconist’s, chemist’s, ironmonger’s, Tea Shops, Taverns (The Rose and Crown; Coach and Horses; The Kings Arms; The Hope and Anchor; The Three Pigeons; The Star and Garter).”
How tame and hum drum in comparison seem the homely everyday things which we at home have to write about. It almost makes one wonder that we have the temerity to even mention our prosaic goings and comings and yet I suppose the very fact that they come from the old familiar place we call “home” lends a sort of enchanted coloring not so much to what is said as to the answering visions they call up in your own minds — at least that is the hope of ye scribe. At least what you all know is real is the love and affection that dwells here for you no matter how weak the transmission may be.
Tomorrow, I will post the first part of a description of the area around San Jose written by John Jackson Lewis to the folks back home.
On Sunday, the last (perhaps) entry for My Ancestor, Alfred Peabody Guion. I hope to bring us from the move to California and a little about Lad and Marian’s life north of San Francisco.
On Monday, I’ll begin a week of the children’s early memories of Trumbull.